Western Civilization Essay
1. What were the goals of the Great Powers at the Congress of Vienna? What were their aims and how did they redraw the map of Europe in the wake of Napoleon’s defeat? What did the chief architects of the Congress, such as Metternich, hope to achieve? Congress of Vienna was a conservative group that aimed to develop peaceful international relations system Goal: achieve postwar stability by establishing secure states with guaranteed borders. Restore regimes to original rulers
Austrian Netherlands and Dutch Republic- united into a new kingdom German states- German Confederation that built on Napoleon’s Confederation of the Rhine Napoleon’s duchy of Warsaw became Kingdom of Poland and the tsar of Russia as the king. Prussia gained territory in Saxony and left bank of Rhine
Austria claimed the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Venetia and the Dalmatian coast Metternich wanted to contain French aggression while maintaining France’s great power states Metternich > Austria; Castlereagh > Great Britain; Nesselrode > Russia; Hardenberg > Prussia; Tallerand> France Negotiated the Treaty of Paris
Metternich led the Congress. France added as 5th wanted to restore power to divine right rulers “balanced power” and stability for Europe in the hands of the Main Powers.
2. Explain the emergence of Liberalism as a distinct political and social ideology in the early 19th century. Who were the 19th century liberals and how were they different from their modern counterparts of the same name? How did Liberalism differ from socialism and conservatism in the early 19th century? The want to establish legal equality regardless of social order, religious toleration, freedom of the press, and freedom of the governed. It was allowed in order to prevent an uprising or revolution Adam Smith (Laissez- Faire economics), John Locke, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo > based ideas on the theories of natural law and utilitarianism (economic liberalism) Different from socialism and conservatism
Louis 18th (1814-1815) promised to rule with liberal constitution Refused to bow to extreme royalists
Not a very democratic system
Only 100 thousand out of 30 million could vote, 1824 he dies and little brother Charles X takes over- wanted to go back to how things were run in 1789 1830- revolution over threw Charles X and placed cousin Louis Philippe as king “citizen king” (1830-1848) Adopted revolutionary flag, this period was a failure. Not much change, expected more change Socialism- common ownership of property, saw capitalism as mismanagement Appeals to lower classes, new urban classes
1820’s- thinkers call for social ownership of property, not private ownership Notion that human happiness is gained by common ownership of property Conservatism- Opposed to revolution, want to keep things as they are supported monarchy and upper class power. 3. Write an essay on the Romantic movement in the early 19th century? What was Romanticism a reaction against? Analyze the literature, music, and art of the period to show how Romanticism changed these genres or fields. [P.S. Did not like too much on this “ism” because of time constraints. Please consult your text: pp. 672-675; 598; 697] Artistic, literary, intellectual movement that emphasized aesthetic experiences and natural sciences Supported free trade to benefit people
Played a role in the growth of nationalism—unification by common language, culture, history, etc. Was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution
Literature, music and art put emphasis on aesthetics and emotions, so more support was given to authors, artists, etc. literature showed over whelming emotion and creative imagination a reaction against the Enlightenment’s excessive reliance on authority of human reason. Example: Painting similarly idealized nature and the individual of deep feelings: The Nightmare by Fuseli. 4. Discuss socialism as a political ideology and its various forms – Marxist, Utopian, and Democratic – in the mid 19th century. How did Socialism differ from Liberalism as a political philosophy? Marxism-human existence was defined by the necessity to work to fulfill basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter Opposed both mutualism and anarchism
Fundamental organization of society arose from materialism- work or production. Foundation of society rested on class relationships.
Emphasized unequal class relations caused by those who had taken from workers control of the means of production—the capital, land, tools, or factories that allowed basic human needs to be met. Saw society as a struggle
Proletariat = working class
Uprising of the proletariat, fall of the state > Karl Marx’s belief Capitalists are the highest class
Utopian Socialism- play on Thomas Moore’s Utopia, ideal society Thought their ideas were not practical
Called socialists because the questioned structures of capitalism Ideal communities treat women as equals
Thought society should be managed as a community rather than people striving for a profit Democratic Socialism- believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives. 5. Explain the Karl Marx and his Scientific Socialism. What is the basis of his theory of Communism? How did Marx differ from the earliers Utopian Socialists and Democratic socialists like Louis Blanc? What were some of the chief tenets of Marxian Socialism? Why did Marx claim that his socialism was on a firm scientific basis? Karl Marx- Marxism
German, son of a lawyer in the Rhine land
Rhineland- industrialized area must open to political ideas. Most influenced by ideas of French Revolution Became a radical journalist
Soon exiled from Rhineland, settles in London in 1849
Spent most time in British library writings
Scientific not Utopian basis
Writer for New York daily tribune
Would have died in poverty if not for a friend- Frederich Engles- together
wrote Communist Manifesto 1848- Communist Manifesto- written for communist league- exiled Germans Communism- violent reform
Socialism- nonviolent reform
Marxism- Marx owes debt to Hegel
Human history has a goal > realization of world spirit
Marx takes a lot of his ideas, believes it’s the abolition of capitalization, disappearance of state Marx- atheist
Dialectic method- states proposition then states opposite, this clash causes a “higher truth” to emerge. Marx steals this and puts into idea Dialectic Materialism. Marx saw class struggle with capitalists and proletarians
Capitalism was necessary to go through before you get socialism. Materialist philosophy.
6. Analyze the causes and outcome of the Revolution of 1848 in France. What were the various phases of this Revolution? What important lessons can you draw from this Revolution? Explain. Revolutions begin in Paris, not a good time to be living
Repeated crop failure
Potato famine in Ireland
Half of population is unemployed
Price of bread= 1 frank, average salary= 1 frank, can hardly afford bread 1847- government banned liberals from meeting, got around it by holding banquets to celebrate George Washington’s birthday Feb. 1848- government sent troops and shot them. Word spread, National Guard came in, sided with the people. Louis Philippe resigned and fled to London. All wanted to extend suffrage, ideas differed after that.
Decide to form a republican government- the 2nd republic
Louis Blanc gets invited to provisional government
Established National Workshops- government subsidized jobs
Abolished slavery in colonies
Imprisonment for debt
Death penalty for political crimes abolished
Limited workdays- 10hrs in Paris, 11hrs in the rest of France April 1848- first universal man election
National workshops disbanded in May
June 1848 2nd revolution occurred
Liberals over rule working class working class
Need an executive
Louis Napoleon- appealed to largest cross section of people (Populist) Used state to provide jobs
Elected for 4 year term
Dissolved National Assembly
7. Analyze the spread of revolution in various parts of Europe in 1848-1849. Discuss the impact of revolutions on the Austrian Empire, Prussia, the German Confederation, and the various Italian states. Why did all of these revolutions fail? 1848- multiple revolutions all over Europe, begin in Paris
1847- government forbade liberals from meeting Instead hold banquets- celebrate George Washington’s birthday February 1848- government sent troops and shot them. Word spread, National guard came in and sided with the people. Louis Philippe resigned and fled to London.
Decide to form a republican government- 2nd republic
Uprising in Venice drove out Austrians
Peasants demanded more land, higher wage, and unemployment relief. Class divisions and social differences stopped unity
In Prussia, Prussians paraded wagons with dead bodies under the window of the Prussian King forcing him to salute King of Prussian called an assembly to draft a constitution and adopted the German nationalist flag Austrians demanded political autonomy for Hungary.
Ferdinand promised a constitution, elected parliament, and the end of censorship They all failed because the various ideological movements quarreled, leaving an opening for rulers and their armies to return to power. Rulers return but had very high expectations for political participation, national unification, and government responsiveness to social problems. 8. Write an essay on the causes and outcome of the Crimean War (1853-1856). What was the significance of the war in terms of international relations? How did this conflict differ from earlier wars in terms of technology and weaponry? The Bosporus Straits and the Strait of the Dardanelles, the small waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. In 1854, the decaying Ottoman Empire controlled that essential waterway and Russia sought increased power in this region.
In 1853, St. Petersburg demanded that the Ottoman Empire recognize Russia’s right to protect Eastern Orthodox believers in Turkey. When Turkey refused, Russia sent troops into Ottoman territory Fearing increased Russian power and an upset to the balance of power on the Continent, Great Britain and France declared war on Russia on March 28, 1854. In September 1854, the British and French laid siege to Sevastopol, Russia’s heavily fortified chief naval base in the Black Sea, lying on the Crimean peninsula. After just under one year of constant battle, the Russian abandoned the fortress, blowing up their fortifications and sinking their own ships. at nearby Balaklava, British troops charged down a narrow valley that was flanked by Russian guns on both sides. Nearly every British soldier fell dead in what came to be called the Valley of Death. (Light Brigade) Russia’s new tsar, Alexander II, sued for peace in 1856
In the resulting Peace of Paris, Russia relinquished its claim as Christian protector in Turkey, the Black Sea was neutralized, and the balance of power was maintained. 9. Write an essay on the movement for Italian unification in the 19th century. Explain the process by which Italy went from a collection of independent states to a unified country. The movement to unite Italy into one cultural and political entity was known as the Risorgimento (literally, “resurgence”). Giuseppe Mazzini and his leading pupil, Giuseppe Garibaldi led young Italian democrats who used the 1848 revolutions as a opportunity for democratic uprising–failed in the face of the resurgence of conservative power in Europe Aristocratic politician named Camillo di Cavour who finally, using the tools of realpolitik, united Italy under the crown of Sardinia. “Realpolitik” is the notion that politics must be conducted in terms of the realistic assessment of power and the self-interest of individual nation-states (and the pursuit of those interests by any means, often ruthless and violent ones)
In 1855, as prime minister of Sardinia, he involved the kingdom on the British and French side of the Crimean War, using the peace conference to give international publicity to the cause of Italian unification. In 1858, he formed an alliance with France, one that included a pledge of military support if necessary, against Austria, Italy’s major obstacle to unification Austria declared war against Sardinia in 1859 and was easily defeated by the French army The peace, signed in November 1959 in Zurich, Switzerland, joined Lombardy, a formerly Austrian province, with Sardinia. In return, France received Savoy and Nice from Italy central Italian provinces of Tuscany, Parma, Modena, and Romagna voted in favor of unification with Sardinia in the summer of 1859. 1860- Garibaldi came out of his self-imposed exile to lead a latter day Red Shirt army, known as the Thousand, in southern Italy. By the end of the year, Garibaldi had liberated Sicily and Naples, which together made up the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Cavour, however, worried that Garibaldi, a democrat, was replacing Sardinia, a constitutional monarchy, as the unifier of Italy Cavour ordered Sardinian troops into the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples. After securing important victories in these regions, Cavour organized plebiscites, or popular votes, to annex Naples to Sardinia Garibaldi yielded his territories to Cavour in the name of Italian unification.
In 1861, Italy was declared a united nation-state under the Sardinian king Victor Immanuel II. 10. Write an essay on the movement for German unification in the 19th century. How did German Unification come about? What role did Prussia and Austria play in this struggle? How did Bismarck achieve German unification? a Junker (the Prussian name for an aristocratic landowner from old Prussia in the east) named Otto von Bismarck pushed German unification through “blood and iron” and skillful understanding of realpolitik Prussia competed with Austria for dominance over a series of small principalities fiercely keen on maintaining their independence and distinctive characteristics. Prussia proper stretched from modern-day Lithuania to central Germany. Prussia also controlled the German lands around the Rhine River in the west. In between, from Denmark to Switzerland, lay small provinces that Bismarck needed to incorporate under the Prussian crown to create a viable German Empire. In 1862, Bismarck
reorganized the Prussian army and improved training in preparation for war. In 1864, he constructed an alliance with Austria to fight Denmark over Denmark’s southern provinces of Schleiswig and Holstein Prussia received Schleiswig while Austria administered Holstein. That situation, however, could not stand for long, as Austrian Holstein was now surrounded by Prussian lands.
Bismarck provoked a conflict with Austria over an unrelated border dispute and in the subsequent Seven Weeks’ War–named for its brevity–Prussia crushed the collapsing Austrian army. The peace settlement transferred Holstein to Prussia and forced Austria to officially remove itself from all German affairs. With Austria out of Bismarck’s way, his next obstacle was the skepticism of the southern provinces. Catholic and anti-militaristic, the southern provinces doubted Prussia’s commitment to a united Germany of all provinces Prussia’s Protestantism and historic militarism made the gulf between north and south quite serious. In 1870, Bismarck forged a note from the French ambassador, implying that the ambassador had insulted the Prussian king. After he leaked this letter to both populations, the people of France and Prussia, roused by nationalist sentiment, rose up in favor of war. In July 1870, France declared war on Prussia. Within a matter of weeks of fighting in Alsace-Lorraine, France lost this Franco-Prussian War. French not prepared for war, Prussians were
Prussians were able to mobilize rapidly, invaded France—catastrophe for France. Napoleon fell. 1870- Prussian Ruler William was declared emperor of Germany in Versailles Alsace-Lorraine was transferred to Germany in the peace settlement, allowing Prussia to declare the German Empire, or Second Reich, on January 21, 1871
11. Explain the causes of the Second European Industrial Revolution and its consequences on European society. 1850-1914 “Age of Steel”
Mass produced steel and aluminum
Steam engine was replaced
Cheaper methods for producing steel in large quantities
Price of steel fell 50% used more in manufacturing
Made expansion of railway system
Discovery of huge quantities of gold in California and Australia- expanded
supply of money and credit World trade increased 260%
Electricity was used more
Alfred Noble invented dynamite used to blast through mountains railway system grew ocean system grew 1869 French built Suez Canal that linked the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea cut shipping and transportation costs in half Clipper ship could cross from Europe to US in 14 days- carried 3x’s the cargo Advances in refrigeration- mechanical ice making machine stimulated trade, more goods available for trade 1864- telegraph 80,000 miles of telegraph wires in Europe
1865-transoceanic cables able to communicate between US and Europe 1875- Alexander Bell created the telephone
1879- first phones installed in France
Life improves even in working class
12. Analyze European society in the 19th century. Why is it called the Bourgeois Century? Describe the different classes and the deviations within respective classes. What attitudes and life-style did each one of them hold? Called the Bourgeois Century b/c it was characterized by the working middle class booming as a result of 18th century commercial and industrial capitalists
Aristocracy- less than 1% of population
Lines between upper class (middle class) and old nobility-intermarriage Most diplomats from aristocratic background
Expansion of middle class- not nobility, working class or upper class 3 levels of middle class- upper middle and lower
Upper- tends to stick to old nobility ways
Middle- moderately successful industrialists, professionals
Lower- store keepers, servants and clerks
Began to occupy more positions b/c they develop
Expansion in government jobs and in professions; lawyers, doctors etc. Majority of houses had common amenities like running water, upholstered furniture, healthy diets, separate sleeping quarters and servants One common perspective: personal gain and safety were the most important aspects of a family’s life, but they knew that everyone’s individual success added up to the success of people as a whole As perspectives and industries of white collared workers changed, so did lifestyles. Leisure became a staple in the lives of bourgeois: spas, vacations, hotels, restaurants 1870- people had savings accounts, work day was reduced, emphasis on efficiency- heavy drinking frowned upon 2 great passions of working class- sports and music halls
13. Discuss the changing condition of women in the 19th century in terms of class, social disabilities, employment patterns, and opportunities. In addition, explore the Feminist struggle of the 19th century. What were the goals of the various Feminist movements? What did they achieve by their struggle? Early 19th century women had one place- the home
A sign of poverty if a woman had a job (very uncommon)
Expected to be married at a young age- not expected to continue education, and not voice an opinion Women’s life private; men’s life public
1885 University of Zurich allowed women to attend college, all others prohibited women Began to realize oppression placed on them
Fought for social, political and even political equality
Women did not enjoy suffrage until early in the 20th century 14. Discuss the evolution of the various Socialist political parties in Europe during the second half of the 19th century (Great Britain, France, and Germany). Why did some of the Marxian Socialists abandon the strict tenets of Marxism for a new revisionist path? What influence, if any, did trade unionism and labor, and greater political democritization have on these various socialist movements? Analyze this question in your textbook: pp. 785, 786, 810;
15. Analyze the roots of anti-Semitism in Europe in the 19th century. What were the causes of anti-Semitic thinking? Analyze the Dreyfus Affair and explain why it serves as one of the best examples for the strength of anti-Semitism in late 19th century Europe? See Chapter 24 of your Textbook.
16. Explain the origins, direction, and motivation of New Imperialism in the late 19th century. Headrick, Tools of Empire will be helpful in this question. New imperialism- scramble for Asian and African possessions
1830- expansion French invaded Algeria over insult to their rulers By 1840’s 70,000 European colonists settle in Algeria, 1848 make Algeria part of France 1819-control Singapore
1840- gained control of New Zealand
Beginning to extend control India as well
British not trying to control India directly
British East India Company doing all Imperialism
Create a British India elite to run India
Wanted to penetrate China to sell opium, but King Dynast said no and didn’t allow traders to travel in and out of Canton Banned opium actually drove price higher
1842- British defeated China and forced them to open 4 more Chinese ports “treat of Nan King” 1880’s- new era of expansion for Europeans
Many Europeans moved out of Europe to America, Australia
What’s the motivation?
Economic and social
Much economic anxiety- colonies seem to offer relief by producing more products Having colonies allows for social and economic problems could filter out problem people to colonies Sense of mission- their duty to help the Africans and Asians Social Darwinists- struggle/ competition of better race white man had duties to lead “primitives” to civilization 17. What were the causes and outcome of the Russo-TurkishWar (1877-1878)? What impact did the war have on the relations among the Great Powers, specifically Austria and Russia?
18. Analyze some of the trends in European thought during the Belle-Époque (1870-1914). Examine the trends in science, literature, and philosophy. What impact did technological change play in these developments? Why did these trends lead some to embrace positivism while others felt increasingly uncertain and anxious about the future? Explain this paradox of increasing optimism and increasing anxiety. Consult your textbook and my lecture notes.
19. Explain the development of Realism and Naturalism in the literature and art of the late 19th century. How did this movement come about? What was it reacting against? Why was it a much more pessimistic movement than the earlier Romantic movement? Compare and contrast Realism and Naturalism with Romanticism. What were the tenets of each movement? How were they similar? How were they different? Why was one more optimistic than the other? Explain. Realism- portrays hypocrisy, dullness that is in society
Example- Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary—depicts colorless life in France in the search for love Materialism- determinism are like animals subject to passion Public face reality but no solution
20. Write an essay on the Bismarckian Alliance system in Europe (1870-1910). What was the basis of this system. How did it come about? Why was the system that Bismarck put in place a flawed one? How did it breakdown after the dismissal of Bismarck as Chancellor? What was the system that replaced it?
21. Discuss the origins and causes of the First World War. What were the political, social, and ideological reasons for the war? Explain in great detail each cause. French and Russian arms expenditures- 80%; Germany- 120%
Everyone put money into military
Everyone thought next war would be short
War not dreaded enough to plan on prevention plan
b/c sparked in Balkins, guaranteed involvement of 2 big powers Serbian terrorists (Blackhands) murdered Archduke and wife of Austria Blamed Serbia for the assassination, they were right
Sent ultimatum to Serbia, didn’t accept
July 28, Austria declared war on Serbia
Russia helped Serbia and declared war on Austria
Germany couldn’t allow Austria to be destroyed declared war on Russia. Knew it would spark war with France. Didn’t want a two front war, but they assumed war was inevitable. Schlieffen plan- imperative for Germany to knock France out of war before slow mobilizing Russians were at the front Had to march through neutral Belgium to attack France, it was an unexpected route and they hoped to trap France Going through Belgium sparked war with Britain
Now all the Great Powers are at war
22. Why was World War I such a great calamity? Why was it also a great catalyst for change in Europe? What changes came about as a result of this conflict? Answer these questions in an well-organized essay. All Great Powers are at war, one of the Greatest calamities of the 20th century War will destroy old aristocracy
Territories will not be the same
Shatter optimism in European values; reason, superiority etc. 10-13 million soldiers killed
20 million soldiers wounded
7-10 million civilians died
1918 influenza outbreak added to massive death
WWI- “Total War”- involves total society, not just military Immediately conscripted people
So many men in army, women took place of men in factories. Gave women independence Have their own residences; go out alone; smoke and drink
Communist Revolution in Russia
Collapse of European Colonial Empire leads to more destructive war 20 years later Schlieffen plan almost worked, but they didn’t make it around Paris French stopped them and moved them back
September/November 1914- Marne Battle- both try to outflank the other Both sides relied on filthy trenches
Artillery was the biggest killer, very similar to artillery used today Barbed wire around trenches
Poison gas/chemical weapons
All became staples of WWI
Verdun- surrounded on 3 sides by German
Attempted offensive, but massive casualties make the French break February-December 1916- Battle of Verdun 996,000 people killed in a small area Germen fired 1 million shells along a 19 mile stretch
Battle of Somme, first day was the worst for the British- lost 60% of officers and 40% of rank on first day gained 7 miles in this battle Lost Generation- survivors- life was not the same for them
Patriotism, progress, order openly mocked
Russians mobilized quicker than German’s expected
By 1917, Germany occupied a large chunk of Russia
Bolshevicks- revolutionary group of Russians (communists)
Germany financed this group, with that help they were able to defeat Russia April 6, 1917, USA declared war on Germany
Sinking of luxury ship Lucetania b Germans cause German distaste in USA Takes 1 year for US presence to be seen, only transportation was ships Summer of 1918, US plays a big role
Germans knew they had to succeed before Americans arrived
Spring 1918 they launched a huge offensive attack on Britain who nearly caved July 1918- Allies launched a huge counter attack and drove Germans back Fall of 1918- Americans broke strangle hold on Verdun
Germans began to crack at home because of British economic blockade. No outside supplies for Germany Eventually violent mutinies against the war broke out
1918 war ended in armistice
How to mend consequences of war
Many dead, more wounded, material lost, all had to spend most of capital reserves to replenish War deprived Europe of world control
United States came out strongest of western states, Soviet Union- due to Russian revolution 23. What were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles? Why did the victorious powers treat Germany and the other Central Powers so harshly? How did the territorial map of Europe change as a result of this treaty?
Treaty of Versailles (1918-1919)
Penalize defeated powers
Demoralization of man
War veterans most bitter
Blame capitalists and Jews
Wanted mass extermination of certain classes for certain aim Radically clean society and classless society made thinkable by WWI League of Nations- subcontracts for other defeated powers
Term set by big powers: Council of Four
1) United States 2) France 3) Britain 4) Italy
Gremans not expected to be blamed for war; hard line by France and Italy, US more light line French Clemenceau- saw German aggression, wanted to weaken Germany so much they could never declare war- he wanted to break Germany into smaller states and de militarize them Ordered British to keep blockades to soften them, they were close to starvation Woodrow Wilson did not blame Germany- established new world order Woodrow’s 14 points:
National self-determination for all people
Urged freedom of trade
June 1919- treaty was ready
1) territorial- had to give up Alsace and Lorraine, move out of areas the preoccupied (even in Russia), creation of Poland, deprived 1/7 of territory from Germany- these territories were economically strong and without them economy is weak 2) military- Germany couldn’t have an army greater than 100,000 men 3) reparations- going to pay for destruction in France, Italy and Britain. 1921-33 billion marks, half goes to France; Austria-Hungary empire is no more and Ottoman empire is no more.
Classical liberalism – The economic and political philosophy that opposed state intervention in economic affairs, supported free trade, competition, and individual initiative as the key to success; this philosophy was, above all, an attack on privilege, on the aristocrats, on the Anglican Church; liberals believed that talent alone should dictate a man’s advancement in the world; supported in England by William Gladstone.
Conservatism – A political and economic philosophy that supported state intervention in the economy on behalf of the disadvantaged; supported the maintenance of traditional institutions of privilege in the name of preservation of tradition and custom that worked in the past; supported in England by Benjamin Disraeli.
Frankfurt Assembly – May 1848-June 1849. German national parliament that tried and failed to create a united German state during the 1848 revolutions. First meeting in May 1848, the convention was populated by middle class civil servants, lawyers, and intellectuals dedicated to liberal reform. However, after drawing the boundaries for a German state and offering the crown to Friedrich Wilhelm, the Kaiser refused in March 1849, dooming hopes for a united, liberal Germany, and the Frankfurt assembly dissolved soon after.
Peace of Paris – 1856; ended the Crimean War; Russia relinquished its claim as the protector of Christianity in the Ottoman Empire and the Black Sea was neutralized among all powers; solidified a complete defeat for Russia.
Plebiscites – Popular votes on one question or issue on the ballot; Camillo di Cavour used these to legitimize Sardinia’s role as the central nation in unification as he arranged these votes in every province to be annexed by Sardinia into the Italian state.
Realpolitik – The notion that politics must be conducted in terms of the realistic assessment of power and the self-interest of individual nation-states, and the pursuit of those interests by any means, often ruthless and violent ones; used skillfully by Camillo di Cavour and Otto von Bismarck in their policies toward national unification.
Risorgimento – Literally, “resurgence”; the name given to the movement for Italian unification because the movement hoped to bring Italy back to its former ancient glory through unification into one political entity; succeeded with proclamation of Italian state in 1861, finally completed with annexation of Rome in 1870.
Serfdom – An institution in Russia and many eastern European states in which peasants were legally tied to the land that they farmed and could not leave that land without expressed permission from the baron or landowner; created an immobile peasantry and a form of slavery; ended with the Emancipation of 1861.
Alexander II – Russian Tsar 1855-1881; known as a reformer for his Great Reforms program that included changes in education, judicial matters, military readiness, and expression freedom; issued the Emancipation edict of 1861 to free the serfs; but his record only shows him to be a half-hearted reformer, never really interested in compromising any element of his power; assassinated in 1881 by a radical because of his lackluster performance as a reformer.
Otto von Bismarck – 1815-1898; German chancellor and architect of German unification under the Prussian crown; ruthlessly used realpolitik in his endeavors; instigated fabricated conflicts with Denmark, Austria, and France to acquire the land he believed should be part of the German Empire.
Camillo di Cavour – 1810-1861; Sardinian prime minister and architect of Italian unification under Sardinia’s crown; skillfully used realpolitik and his understanding of international relations to enhance Sardinia’s stature as a European power and use the French-Austrian conflict to his advantage.
Charles Darwin – 1809-1882; scientist, biologist. Sparked by a visit to the Galapagos Islands on the HMS Beagle, Darwin published On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection in 1859. Darwin’s ideas dramatically affected societal self-conception, challenging the uniqueness of man and the relation of man to God, spurring the development of the scientific field of evolution and less scientific ideas such as Social Darwinism.
Benjamin Disraeli – 1804-1881; leader of the Conservative Party, dedicated to government intervention and the maintenance of traditional institutions of privilege for tradition and stability purposes; his government passed the Factory Act of 1875, setting a maximum of a fifty-six hour work-week; the Public Health Act, establishing a sanitary code; the Artisans Dwelling Act, defining minimum housing standards; and the Trade Union Act, permitting picketing and other peaceful labor tactics.
Giuseppe Garibaldi – Italian patriot, democrat, and freedom fighter; once Italian unification seemed possible, after the defeat of Austria, he led a legion of Italian fighters through the Kingdom of Naples, liberated province after province to create a unified Italian state; forced to relinquish his territory to Camillo di Cavour’s Sardinian lands in the name of unification.
William Gladstone – 1809-1898; leader of the Liberal Party in Great Britain, though he began his career as a Tory; main advocate of the liberal approach to government–no tariffs, free trade, no government intervention; his government abolished tariffs, cut defense spending, lowered taxes, kept budgets balanced, reformed the civil service into a merit-based promotion system, and made elementary education available to and mandatory for everyone.
Georges Haussmann – 1809-1891; chief architect of the redesigned Paris under Napoleon III; known for his utter disregard for established neighborhoods when he redesigned Paris as a home for the upper and middle class bourgeoisie of France; Haussman’s redesigned Paris, known for its wide boulevards, straight roads, museums, and pristine arrangement, thus served as the model for countless other cities throughout the world.
Abraham Lincoln – American president, elected 1860; led Union during the American Civil War and dedicated himself to the forcible reunification of the United States. See the SparkNote on Abraham Lincoln.
Karl Marx – 1818-1883; German political philosopher and founder of scientific socialism; published the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and Das Kapital in 1867.
Giuseppe Mazzini – Italian patriot and democrat committed to the unification of Italy under a liberal democratic government; leader of the Young Italy organization, a group of mostly Italian youths and democrats who pledged to work toward a united democratic Italy.
Napoleon III – 1808-1873; formerly Louis Napoleon and nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte; won in the presidential election in France in December 1848, but took dictatorial powers on December 2, 1851 and took the monarchical title; can be considered the first modern politician due to his mastery of communication and appearances to maintain the grandeur of France; known for his economic prosperity, rejuvenation of Paris, and support of Italian unification; defeated in Franco-Prussian War.
American Civil War – 1861-1865; conflict between the North and the Confederate South over states’ rights, federalism, economic rights, and, to some extent, slavery. The Civil War was an example of the forcible unification of a union using realpolitik.
Crimean War – 1853-1856; war that pitted Russia against the alliance of Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia; Russia wanted warm water ports on Black Sea and thus hoped to take advantage of weakening Ottoman Empire; France and Britain feared an upset to the balance of power in Europe; emerged as an absolute military defeat for Russia.
Emancipation of the serfs – 1861; by the Emancipation Edict offered by Alexander II; ended the institution of serfdom in Russia after centuries of its use; most probably done because the government needed an effective pool of men from which it could conscript thousands into the army; after the defeat in the Crimean War, this was one of the efforts taken to strengthen the weak Russian military.
Franco-Prussian War – July-September 1870; conflict between France and Prussia over a fabricated insult allegedly made by the French ambassador to the Prussia king; Prussia defeated France and her own territory and took Alsace-Lorraine from France and laid siege to Paris until the country gave in; overthrew the government and set up a parliamentary system in Paris.
Great Reforms – Tsar Alexander II’s changes that he directed from above; changes in education, the judiciary, the military, expression rights, etcetera all seemed to follow an enlightened, liberal perspective; however, upon careful review of these reforms, it is obvious that these were grudging reforms with little real change.
Sevastopol – 1854-1855; Russia’s heavily fortified chief naval base in the Black Sea, lying on the Crimean peninsula; after just under one year of constant battle and being under siege by French an British, the Russian abandoned the fortress, blowing up their fortifications and sinking their own ships; one example of the harsh battles of the campaign.
Seven Weeks’ War – 1866; war between Prussia and Austria, named for its very short duration; was a fabricated conflict over administration of Holstein; complete victory for Prussia; Prussia gained Holstein and put an end to all Austrian involvement in German affairs, clearing a major obstacle to German unification.